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REVIEW: Blackwolf’s Redemption by Sandra Marton

Blackwolf's Redemption by Sandra MartonDear Ms Marton:

I honestly had no idea what I was getting in for when I read Blackwolf’s Redemption. It was a Harlequin Presents and 8 of those are delivered to my Harlequin digital account monthly via my subscription. I assumed that it was just another HP but instead it’s a time travel, only this time the time travel only takes us back to 1975, the land of bell bottoms and bra burnings.

(I thought the epigraph by Monty Python “And now for something completely different” was spot on).

Sienna Cummings, a graduate student in anthropology, has come to observe the summer solstice in Blackwolf Canyon, Montana. The land had once been owned by the Blackwolf family, the last known descendant was Jesse Blackwolf, who fought in Vietnam and then virtually disappeared, at least Sienna could find little information for him.

Shortly before solstice, an electrical storm whips up and then next thing Sienna knows, she’s lying on a rock in the middle of a canyon with some strange shirtless man leaning over her.

Jesse Blackwolf has raised on this land in Montana and had been taught by his father of the precious and almost mystical tie his people had with the land. But when Jesse came back from Vietnam, the idea of something spiritual in the land filled him with revulsion. He could no longer tolerate the mysticism and the superstitions and he would sell the land as the first of his efforts to eradicate such childish idealism.

Something has brought Jesse to the sacred rock on the summer solstice. The papers are ready to sell the land and for Jesse to move, for good, to San Francisco. A strange lightning storm occurs and suddenly Jesse sees a body on the sacred rock. Jesse first thinks Sienna is a thief, there to take artifacts, but soon discards that notion. Something is off about her, but he can’t deny the attraction he has toward her.

I think the thing I longed for the most in this book was more. The bits where Sienna employs her future knowledge are too few but good when utilized. I enjoyed the descriptions of the land and the relationship that Jesse had with his parents, but again felt like I wanted more. The “fish out of water” trope is used for comedic effect particularly when Sienna is tired of being treated as a nonentity in Jesse’s business world but only occasionally.

Sienna spent quite a bit of time running very hot and very cold. It was almost cruel the number of times she excited the hero and he got no release. (and I don’t say this very often). At least she apologizes. Jesse is not at all the harsh alpha male trying to exact revenge on the heroine for some perceived slight, but much is made of his warrior ancestry and certainly the way he was portrayed was as someone strong and capable. Together the two were very combustible.

Amusingly, Jesse Blackwolf solves all his conflicts by kissing the stuffing out of the conflictee or whatever. In this case, our dear heroine. Seriously. When she doesn’t believe he is real, he kisses her. When she argues about flying to San Francisco, he kisses her. When Sienna causes a scene in a restaurant declaring that women’s rights will change their insulated little world, Jesse hustles her out of the restaurant and kisses her. When she tries to tell Jesse that she’s a time traveler from the future, he kisses her silent.

I guess it’s better than duct tape?

I did enjoy this “something different” and would read more Marton in the future, but I confess that the book left me wanting, much like poor Jesse after Sienna had worked him up. I hate giving the book a C+ because the writing is very good and I felt it was on the cusp of being a keeper but I don’t have any urge to re-read it again. Having said that, it was entertaining and I don’t regret any time I spent reading the story. B-?

Best regards,

Jane

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This is a Harlequin Presents and thus the pricing is up to the retailer. The pre order links aren’t live at several of the online stores.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. sarah_florida
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 13:15:01

    My mom gets the UK (Mills & Boon) versions and then sends them to me here in Florida. Normally my mom wouldn’t read a time travel story but because Marton is one of her fav authors she tried it and actually liked it.

    I’m just at the part where he offers her a job. I keep skipping forward a few pages just to see if poor old Jesse ever “gets some”! LOL

    I’ll probably finish it in bits and pieces in between other books.

  2. Wendy
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 13:46:37

    Dagnabit Jane – this one sounds really intriguing! As in, I need to add another book to my TBR Mountain Range intriguing. Gah!

    The only thing that gives me pause is the hot-and-cold-running heroine. That tends to annoy me. But dang, the time travel back to the 1970s is just too tempting to ignore.

    Oh, and neither here nor there – I have a long-time Internet (non-blogging) bud who adores Marton’s HPs.

  3. Jane
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 13:57:28

    @sarah_florida: He does finally! get some. What a patient guy.
    @Wendy: It’s only a small book. Around $3.00. You know you want it.

  4. John J.
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 16:22:33

    Ah, I wondered if this would be good. I was browsing the Harlequin site and thought it looked interesting – possible TBR material for sure. Are any of the author’s other books better, or do they all verge on the same almost-good quality?

  5. Jill Sorenson
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 19:14:15

    @Wendy: Ditto! Thanks a lot, Jane. *shakes fist*

  6. Ros
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 02:09:36

    Hmm. I was pretty sceptical when they announced this series on the Presents blog. Time travel to a land of unreconstructed sexist bigots? Not my idea of romantic.

    Anyway, I have read a couple of other Sandra Martons recently and the kissing thing seems to be a common theme. Whenever she runs out of ideas for a scene, she chucks in a kiss. Usually a punishing one. ;) I sort of have the same sense in all her books that they are almost very good but not quite.

  7. Sandra Marton
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 08:20:08

    I’d have loved telling more of Jesse’s story. In fact, my head is still filled with information I developed about his parents (she was a Connecticut Yankee, he was a Montana Sioux-Cheyenne rancher), about Jesse’s stint in Vietnam and, especially, about his land, the land of his ancestors… but, as Jane points out, HPs are short books. As an author, I try my best to write a big story and contain it within 55,000 words. It ain’t easy!

    Thank you to all who decided to give this book a try. It was/is a departure for Presents, and an exciting one for me.

  8. Carol Storm
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 09:23:39

    I have been a huge Sandra Marton fan ever since THE CORSICAN GAMBIT back in 1991. (I was twelve at the time — ahem!!!) This book sounds AWESOME and I can not WAIT to go back in time to the Seventies!

  9. Maddie
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 18:41:25

    I had decided to give this book a pass because of the time travel, but I picked it up today from Borders.

    Sandra Marton is an auto-buy for me, but I really do hate Time Travel (thks Jude Deveraux.

  10. BabyCakes
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 02:15:50

    The ending left me confused :s

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